Weeks after we came back from Cambodia, we made up our minds to make it to the next level, climb the highest mountain in the Malay archipelago, Kota Kinabalu. As early as April,we started saving for our future expenses. Our hopes were so high we could make it until a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit the area claiming lives of many people. It scared the hell out of my friend. But I was thinking that maybe by October, everything would be fine. I haven’t had the slightest idea to change plans. However, fate isn’t on my side this year, I thought. Sometime mid June, I had a surgery which forced me to say goodbye to Malaysia for the mean time. In between the months from June towards the end of September, our plans shifted to going home without going to the north as we mainly intend to spend this break on our own. But as we were about to book the flight to the Philippines, we ended up booking a flight from Bangkok to Krabi.
It’s a one-way ticket for the reason that we don’t have any idea whether we’d love it there and we probably extend our days or might find a near place where we could hop on after Krabi. After doing our research of the place, as much as I hate to join organized tours, we haven’t had any choice because it’s just the two of us and it would cost us a lot if we’ll be doing tours on our own. So we booked for the activities which we think were exciting. The thought that it is an island, not to mention one of the most touristic spot in Thailand, made us decide that 4 days would be enough. Though we saved up for this vacation, we wanted to go to other places aside from the South. We eventually decided to fly from South to North. So we booked another flight from Krabi to Chiang Mai.
The couple went ahead of us for we were not able to book the same flight. So it was just the two of us waiting for our 17:00 flight. As the plane was about to take off, I remembered reading in one of the bloggers I follow about the perks of flying on late afternoons, SUNSETS!!! My fascination of sunsets and sunrise is something I can’t explain. Our designated seats separated us, we’re both near the aisle. I’ve been hoping nobody would be sitting beside me. Wish granted! So before taking off, we were seated together. I’m at the window side. I feasted my eyes with these …
Upon arriving, we looked for the shuttle which could take us to our guesthouse reservation. But there were some changes as our friends who went ahead of us went to the place and found out it was close. So the owner brought them to another guesthouse owned by his sibling. We were a bit worried as it was already late when we arrived at the airport and we weren’t sure whether the shuttle service is still operating. We then asked the guards around and they led us to the ticket booth. A ticket costs 150 Baht. We rushed to the bus and realized there are no more available seats for us so we stood almost half of the trip. There are also taxi which transport tourists from the airport to the resorts and it costs 600 Baht for one taxi.
It was already dark and I could only see the lights from the establishments we were passing by. Yes, establishments. Krabi is a big island where you could find giant fast-food chains like Subway, McDonalds and even Starbucks! You could imagine how touristy and how developed this island is to have such establishments within the premises. We were the last to be dropped off as Lake Side Bungalow is a bit away from the main road.
We didn’t know what to expect of the place as we were not able to search this place. We just hoped it would be of the same quality as we expected in the original bungalow we reserved. When we got to the place, there were some men who were having a good time near the information house. We greeted them casually as we didn’t know whether the owner is one of them or not. They seem to be wondering what two ladies are doing in that part of the island at night. They called for one person who later we realized is the keeper of the bungalow. We told him that our friends are already checked in and they also checked us earlier so he should have been expecting us. His facial expression is showing confusion. Luckily, one of the men could speak in English and we again told him what we said earlier. He then translated to the keeper and he now remembered. ‘Your friend, your friend’ he struggled to say. ‘Wait here, I call your friend’. He went ahead and we waited. Then he came back and said, ‘Sorry, your friend not here. Follow me, your room there.’ So we followed him and he turned on the lights. We said thank you and we looked at each other after we closed the door. Not saying a word, our eyes wandered around the room, checked the restroom, we felt the bed and even though we didn’t say a word, we understood each other, we are definitely moving after 2 nights. Later on, we decided to just stay there until the end of our stay. For as long as we have a place to sleep at night and a place where we could take a shower, we’re good. I guess it was just our ‘maarte’ side kicking earlier which made us thought of moving to a different place. Instead, we kicked that ‘maarte’ side out of our system.
We called our friends and were informed that they were in town having dinner. We asked how to get to the town and if it’s possible to walk. However, tiredness is already consuming us so we opted to take a Tuktuk which costs 100 Baht for the two of us. When we could see some restaurants and bars already, we decided to get off the Tuktuk and walk to find a place where we could eat. In our previous travels, we have been indulging ourselves with food which always makes us go beyond our budget. This time, before setting out, we agreed to spend less amount of money for food. We were looking for street foods but to no avail ’cause we were looking in the wrong place. We found a place which seems to be budget friendly but would still satisfy our taste buds. I believe our choice was fine. One thing I noticed in almost all restaurants we saw is the sign that says ‘halal’. Later did we realize that most people in the south are Muslims. I also remembered that there many Mosques in the area.
So we had a good meal and our hunger was satisfied. We decided to walk around as our energy went high after fueling ourselves with carbs and protein.
After our ‘photo-shoot’ on the bridge, we went on walking and stopped by a mini-mart to buy some stuffs we forgot earlier. We couldn’t walk all the way up to the bungalow and we remembered that some parts of the way are too dark as there were not enough street lights so we took a Tuktuk to bring us back.
We met our friends back in the bungalow and they have the same complains as we have had earlier. They too, made up their minds to move but still, we all ended up staying.
We had a long and loaded day ahead of us the following day. The tour we booked was Phi-phi + 4 islands. Throughout the day, most of our time was spent in the boat. Our first stop was in a Bamboo island where very few bamboos are seen. We had to really search the place to look for Bamboos only because we were looking for reasons as to why and how it got its name.Although the guide mentioned that there were many bamboos in the island ‘long time ago’, we thought that there must be still some bamboos left somewhere. But because we were only given 30 minutes in the island, we were not able to walk around so much. We came across a what seemed to be a guesthouse before it was damaged. Our guide was too far and we were not able to ask. Looking around the area we saw an almost fading tarpaulin attached to a tree and read that the area was swept by a tsunami in 2004. Bamboo Island was also full of tsunami evacuation signs.
Because words are not enough to describe the place, just look at the photos.
Our next stops were some islands I couldn’t remember the names. There was one stop which mesmerized me. It is almost similar to the Big Lagoon of El Nido.
Have you watched the movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo Dicarpio? That beach was also part of our tour. It is indeed more than beautiful. The very fine white sands felt so good. Maya Beach, as they call it. Truly a scenic and picturesque sight except that it was way too crowded with so many tourists.
Our next stop was at Ko Phi-phi. Yet another famous attraction in the south of Thailand. Lunch was served there. I had to finish my meal very quickly as I wanted to see the other side of the island and I know time was very limited. I also wanted to get to the viewpoint where I could see the shore where the two beaches meet. To my dismay, I found out that I would have to stay in Phi-phi for at least a night to see all these. So there’s one reason I should go back, but due to the number of tourists flocking in the area, I am still contemplating.
We ended our tour in Ko Phi phi. We then headed back to the pier. Went back to the bungalow then went back to town again to have dinner. It was a long yet fun-filled day.
When I first came to Thailand, I didn’t know what Krabi is and I never imagined myself being able to get to places like this. But as the pages of this borrowed life unfolds, I realized and I must say, dreams do come true.
This post won’t end without a sunset.